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Let the candidate experience drive job postings.


Meredith Stack


Job postings are the first impression that candidates have about your organization. They have the power to attract or turn away the best talent. The nature of work is changing, and it’s important that job postings keep pace. Before you write your next job postings, take a few minutes to consider what candidates really need to learn about the role to determine if they are interested enough to apply.

What do candidates seek in job postings?

Candidates can’t learn everything they need to know from the job title. But they also don’t want a lot of extra information. LinkedIn conducted research to understand which parts of the job posting are the most important for candidates. The top three pieces of information candidates want to learn from a job posting are compensation (61 percent), required qualifications (49 percent), and job duties (49 percent).

Often determining compensation and qualifications is straight forward. Enumerating the job duties can be trickier. Every job has a laundry list of day-to-day duties. However, it’s important to focus only on what’s most vital to success in the role, as well as what’s unique to the role. If you’re using Berke’s Job Fit assessment, you’ve conducted a job analysis based on research and input from an I-O Psychologist. Use the information you’ve validated during the job analysis to inform the job posting.

Share a couple of sentences about what success looks like, as well as what advancement opportunities lie ahead. Thirty-three percent of candidates from the LinkedIn survey said they wanted to know about performance goals, and 25 percent said they were curious about career advancement.

As a final step, run the job posting past internal audiences. Make sure that people who aren’t in the job could evaluate a person’s fit using the job posting. And ask people in the job to confirm that the description accurately reflects the role. You want all stakeholders to be on the same page and have the same competencies in mind.

What information do candidates find unnecessary?

As for the detailed description of your company culture, it’s best to keep it to a minimum because candidates are finding that information elsewhere. Twenty-three percent of respondents to LinkedIn’s survey said they look to the job posting for company information. Only 27 percent used it as a method to learn more about the Company Mission. In short, candidates said they don’t want to “waste time reading about a company” while they’re reviewing the job posting.

That said, be intentional about the language you use. People infer personality traits about an organization based on the language used. For example, if your culture is more laid back, use more informal language. Let your corporate personality shine through in the word choice.

It is also worthwhile to be specific about the perks offered and to describe the office environment, as those aspects are harder to deduct through other online research.

Where do candidates look for job information?

As for where candidates are finding job postings, it’s no surprise that most of them are looking online. According to Glassdoor, the top places candidates look for job information includes:

  • Online job sites (51 percent)
  • Hearing about the job from a friend (45 percent)
  • Finding the job on a company’s careers site (35 percent)

“Job seekers are taking control of their own destiny by harnessing the power of information to find the right job and employer for them,” according to Glassdoor’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition. “Today, job seekers are more informed than ever. By helping prospective talent find and access the information they want, you’ll be helping your recruiting efforts.”

As you work with hiring managers to craft and post job postings, keep these three tips in mind:

  1. Use information from a job analysis to provide accurate insight into the role. Include a representative list of tasks for which the new hire will be responsible.
  2. Replace the extended version of your company information with a shorter one. However, be sure you’re assessing for a person-environment fit during interviews—you want to confirm that the person you hire shares organizational values and will positively contribute to your culture.
  3. Forget about why you need the job posting. Instead, focus on the candidate who is reading it for the first time. Make it your goal to focus on the essential details that a person needs to decide whether they will apply for the job.

When it comes to job postings, let the candidate experience inform your approach. Give them what they want to learn most and save the rest for later.

Man looking through job postings on his phone

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